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VMware MVP does not equal Windows XP on your phone

Today, as I read coverage of the VMware Mobile Virtualization Platform, or MVP, on the virtualization.info blog, I noticed a confusing tidbit. In his post, Alessandro Perilli states, “The fact that customers can run a Windows XP virtual machine [VM] on their phones doesn’t mean that it’s usable.”

While I totally agree with Perilli’s skepticism about the usability of Windows XP on a phone, I have to quibble with one point. In fact, VMware MVP won’t enable customers to run Windows XP on their phones at all.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but as a hypervisor for the ARM processor, MVP can’t run a Windows XP virtual machine, because XP is designed to run on an x86 processor, even if it is virtualized. (It can, however, run a Windows CE VM.)

If MVP presented an x86 emulation layer, it would be a different story. But that’s not the story VMware told me.

The more I think about it, the more I like Citrix’s proposed ICA client for the iPhone. While the Citrix approach doesn’t do much for embedded device manufacturers, it gets at end users’ goal of accessing their desktops and all the data that resides on them in an elegant, secure fashion. And if the effusive comments on the Citrix blog are any indication, I’m not alone in thinking that way.

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